Homesteading and Prepping Open Discussion Weekend Forum

community forum

This open discussion forum is just that an open discussion where you can post your preps and homestead progress for the week, or ask questions about any topic that you need help with.

All that I ask is that you keep the discussion somewhat related to the topic of prepping and or homesteading.

Worth Checking Out:

Alright… now over to you all…

M.D. Creekmore

I've been interested in self-reliance topics for over 25 years. I’m the author of four books that you can find here. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about prepping, homesteading, and self-reliance topics through first-hand experience and now I want to share what I’ve learned with you.

169 Responses

  1. Docj says:

    This week I have been canning, dehydrating, gardening, and attending a class on quilt making. I am buying veggies to can and dehydrate. We love new red potatoes roasted with rosemary seasoning. I canned 4 1/2 quarts of new potatoes yesterday. They look great. Will cut in half to roast. I also learned how to can okra for frying when opened.
    Prepping has become a daily mindset. Something is in the air. My feeling says more than one nightmare is staring at us. Keep preparing for whatever comes our way.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      DocJ, you are right and honestly it will be more like what Matthew Bracken writes about, it has been gradually working into what amounts to hell for people who still believe that all police and military are our friends, some are but most have been and will continue to follow orders. More importantly, I truly believe that people have far to much faith in the system, when the system is absolutely broken, I have faith in myself and my very close MAG.

      • Docj says:

        Jesse, the system is beyond broken in so many directions and from top down. Soon the first domino will fall. Add to that volcanoes with unlimited supply of lava, 2150-2750 earthquakes a week. A normal before Hawaii volcanoes started erupted was less than 300! We are experiencing earth changes that are affecting food production. Some in the south are considering shade cloth as they saw their garden are scorched by the sun. For years, I plant so my veggies and rooted hard cutting received little afternoon sun. It is worst now. I tell people to watch grocery shelves. Best way to monitor loss food production. Empty shelves or food sections being reduced are good indicators.
        Keep your articles coming, Jessie.

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          Docj, I plan on it for now!

        • JDinNY says:

          I have actually lost plants summer to heat and many are stunted with the 100* that have been receiving over several days. If it keeps up it’ll be like a zone 7 here lol. I’ve never needed a sun screen before but may grab some for the future since most days are hovering near 90* and the screens are gone locally. Been having a real hard time with weeds this yr also just can’t keep up.. if NY is this hot can’t imagine what you all are experiencing in the southern states!

          • Almost There says:

            It is scorching down here JD. Today we got some rain in TN. Humidity is still high making the “feels like” temp over 100!!!

        • Docj,

          Great comment and as true a statement as I’ve ever heard.

    • Prepared Grammy says:

      Potatoes are my favorite food, and new potatoes are the best. I canned them for the first time last year. Some were with green beans, and some were without. How do you can your new potatoes?

      • Docj says:

        Prepared Grammy, I watched Wanda on Deep South Homestead cann potatoes. Their motto, “Garden like your life depends on it. It does.” She washes new potatoes, boil potatoes for 3 minutes, process for your altitude for 40 minutes for quarts.

      • Always Forward says:

        At the cannery we wash and cut ours. Fill jars with hot water and 1/2 tsp. of salt. Sometimes when eating we will then take the skin off easily. Sometimes we lightly mash them with a fork before we eat them. Cuts down so much on spoilage.

    • Anonamo Also says:

      Docj,
      Have you tried okra dehydrated? If you have a lot of veeggies coming in need canned this mght be one way for you to free up the canner for other things..
      My family and a few others who I know have tried it dehydrated., like it better than fresh..It is not as slimy.. To dehydrate is easy, Just wash and cut okra in even slices, put on trays..dehydrate. pack! in jars. I use pints and there is enough in the jar we can have it 3 times.. for the two of us. To use cover the amount / half of what you want as finished/with very warm waere and cover, with saucer/weight to keep all submerged…. let sit for 45 min- one hour..pour off any excess water.. then treat like you would fresh
      . I have not tried it canned.

  2. Prepared Grammy says:

    It’s nice to have this forum back. I’ll keep it short and sweet.

    *My canning and freezing of vegetables has come to a screeching halt due to a visit to the ER just as my garden is coming on strong. I’ve given everything picked this week to my kids and a coworker, and they’re appreciative.

    Be prepared. Stay safe. He’s in charge.

    • Prepared Grammy says:

      I forgot to add that we’re leaving tomorrow for a camping trip in TN. Our plans have changed a bit due to my health issue, but we’re looking forward to some time away. Maybe a little fishing is in order, and shopping for cast iron at second-hand stores is a possibility.

      • JP in MT says:

        PG:

        With everything that happened to the DW’s ATV & trailer, we never did get in any fishing on our trip. She bought her 1st licence in years and didn’t get to use it.

        • Prepared Grammy says:

          After what we’ve had happen this week, and my health was only the start of it, we’re going into this camping trip with no plans. Evidently our plans are useless lately.

          • Jesse Mathewson says:

            PG, the best laid plans of mice and men. I’ve found no matter how well you plan failure is always apart of it, which is why we *you and others and I * are adaptable:)

          • Evergreen says:

            PG: prayers for your health and safety as you travel. I hope you are able to get some R&R this week.

      • Prepared Grammy says:

        I was diagnosed with diverticulitis and told to eliminate seeds from my diet. My blood work came back “Perfect, and I mean PERFECT,” according to my doctor. (A CT scan showed diverticulitis.) I think it’s perfect, which isn’t bad for a woman who’s going to be 55 this month and prescription-free, because I’m active and eat well. I eat blueberries and/or strawberries EVERY day and lots and lots of other fruits and vegetables. My freezer is already full of berries from this year’s local harvest. Two of the grandkids always want berries when they come to Grammy’s house. I’m concerned that when I change my diet I’m going to eliminate one problem, but more are going to occur. I don’t want my cholesterol, BP, and weight to go downhill. What on earth do I do?

        • Evergreen says:

          Do you get a lot of dietary fiber?

        • RB in GA says:

          I always tell my patients when I do education on diverticulitis (I am an RN that has worked with a GI specialist for 7 years) to think of your stomach and intestines as a highway. When it’s new it’s smooth and everything flows well. As it gets older it gets potholes. Potholes, as we all know, collect “stuff”. Diverticuli are the intestines potholes.
          Diverticulitis is when that “stuff” causes an inflammation of the intestines. It can be, in rare cases, exceedingly dangerous. Repeated episodes can cause a thinning of the intestinal wall and lead to a ruptured intestine and peritonitis..
          So you need to avoid eating things that do not digest well or leave significant residue to collect in the potholes. Seeds and nuts are the number one culprits, followed by veggies that have nibs (such as corn or the eyes in black-eyed peas, for example). Fruits that are eaten with the seeds intact (like strawberries, sorry) are also very likely to cause a flare-ups in some people.
          The best thing to do is to talk to a dietician, take him or her a list of what you normally eat in a given week and go over it. If you are having diverticulitis, something in that diet is triggering it.

          • Evergreen says:

            RB, what an excellent explanation 🙂

            I’ve worked in surgery for 7 years, but I’m a new nurse and just started cross training to endoscopy. I’m a lot more fascinated than I thought I’d be.

        • Anonamo Also says:

          PG, short answer…Add enzymes, probiotics,.K2,… chew food very well.. Avoid all seed until intestine is healed. give it plenty time to heal…. avoid constipation..learn to massage bowel, to help it empty..Increase water, pure clean filtered water., maybe with lemon…if’n u like it.ad a little good fats to your diet/coconut oil/olive oil…it will give you a smooth move.
          .. Any food you know gives you a problem add papaya or bromelin enzyme..(meat tenderizer with no msg/ mccormicks is one brand there are others… dollar general has a good one.i use it. cheaper).
          . Everlasting tea one cup q 2-3 days, best with lots of mint., hot or cold. no matter . has many benefits.to tell you would make me sound like a sales person.. good for IBS, lactose intolerance, crone’s asthma, bronchitis, Copd….wonderful for inflamed intestines..(Chronic Gastritis…). I got em’ I know..
          This should get you started. Congratulations on being med free. Coconut and oive oil/ sun butter will keep cholestrols balanced.
          Mazola oil was developed to make cows fat. It does and it will. ..peanut oil will make triglycerides spike ,..ie . did my DH.’s

          • Izzy says:

            Anonamo Also; Thank you for the tip on “bromelin”. I am definitely going to get some. It has gotten to the point, I have to watch way too much of what to eat, lest I bloat like a pregnant cow and it is no fun. Bread (any kind) in particular gives me fits lately.

            Is “Everlasting tea” a brand name? I drink a ton of tea and always willing to try something different in teas.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Camping! Yay! So are we, headed out Monday!

    • Sarah says:

      ANOTHER DRY DAY HERE IN SEATTLE MORNING ! YES I know about the trips to the damn ER to much !! OK here is the good stuff I planted some sweet corn WOW I have a bunch of ears of corn this is the first time I have try to grow it ! LOVE my little city veggie garden!(yes I do live in the city )

      • Prepared Grammy says:

        We love sweet corn.

      • Babycatcher says:

        Make sure you have a way to defend it against four and two legged critters. Raccoons, deer, and people all love corn.

        • Prepared Grammy says:

          The coons and squirrels ruined my corn the last two years. We got an electric mesh fence halfway through last summer. It’s really done the trick…so far.

        • Sarah Querry says:

          The blue jays are the worst here ! If it well grow and it edible I am learning to grow it ! This is so new to me I always though food. Came from the grocery store I wish I learn this years. Ago. ! My tomatoes are doing good I fried two of them up yesterday ! So much difrent than the store bough. !

          • Jack says:

            Sarah, you are now an enlightened one! Years ago my youngest son showed a picture of himself to grade school classmates. He was milking our Jersey cow Daisy Mae. One little girl declared “it is NOT true, milk does NOT come from there.” When the teacher finally convinced the little girl, milk does indeed come from cows, her response was telling about society today. The young lady then stated, “I will NEVER drink milk again, from now on I will melt ice cream and drink that.” Every garden expansion, each new crop you add will bring your closer to food security.

            • Sarah says:

              I am 73 and as I said I wish I started farming years ago I have to say to everyone here I have learn a bunch “THANK YOU”

            • skye says:

              Jack,
              The story of the little girl not drinking milk, but only melted ice cream from now on, was hilarious.
              I wonder if she knows that eggs come from a hen’s rear end?
              Skye

  3. JP in MT says:

    We went out camping after the 4th. Since our camper and truck are also our BOV kit if we do have to evacuate, we consider this training. Had to get a new 7-wire cable put on the trailer before we left (it needed it last year and I forgot). Prepped all the vehicles. We got withing 20′ of where we were going when the wheel came off the DW’s ATV trailer! Ruined the axle, lost both bearings and everything else on the one side. Then, once we got her unloaded and off the road the ATV refused to run any more. Everything is back in the shop. We also found broken parts and parts that past maintenance people didn’t put back on.

    Lessons learned: Check the work of others (missing/broken parts). Unload and run the vehicles around before you depend on them. Spare parts! And most important – be ready for things to go wrong, because something will.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      JP, ouch! And agreed always double check

      • JP in MT says:

        Jesse:

        SHort of actually pullinh the cap off the hub, we would have never guessed that whoever built the trailer didn’t put the tab down on the retaining rings so the castle nut could work loose. We checked the air pressure and did a visual. This time I will right the date the wheel bearing were last greased/checked with silver felt pen on the fender!

    • Greg M. says:

      Isn’t murphy great?

    • Jean says:

      Been there, done that!

    • Jean says:

      I a man soooooo very happy to have this forum back! Look forward to it every week. Love comparing notes on what folks are doing. It’s hot, hot, hot in Georgia, and the garden is coming in. Didn’t do so well growing bell peppers last year, but got that taken care of this year! Bumper crop….make it salsa. Canning, dehydrating and cutting grass.

      • GA Red says:

        Jean – what part of GA – North, South or Middle? You may have already mentioned, but I forget sometimes. I’m kinda middle-North.

    • Jack says:

      JP, Watching my Mom who was the driver for my blind Grandfather left an impression on me growing up. If you want it done right, do it yourself!!!! Over many years, I can say the family only had a few truly honest mechanics. When my time became very valuable during my working career, I still enjoyed my “hobby” of pulling maintenance on anything that ran. It gives you great confidence to know what was done, that quality parts were used and to know repairs were completed correctly.

  4. Northern Gal says:

    Not much for prepping. Garden coming on, nothing ready yet, northern Canada! Except lettuce and some beet greens. Everything is looking good and potatoes should be ready soon, peas blooming.

    Have a large fruit garden and earlier this week, ate sour cherries (not too sour!), raspberries, honeyberries (aka Haskaps) and saskatoons or service berries to some people all on the same day! Great snack. Time to get the jam and jelly making supplies out!

    I very much enjoy reading about everyone’s preps. Very knowledgeable people commenting as well as our esteemed host. My preps have halted due to my husband and I separating and me moving out and I haven’t quite figured out how and where I want to get going prepping again. Although time is always the essence, rushing and not rethinking things through for the long term would be worse for me. I am ok with where I am at for the moment. 🙂

    Thanks
    NG

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Northern, I am certain you made the recent decisions for solid reasons, I will only say that I believe in prepping daily for events exactly like what you are experiencing now! This is why I prep, not for what if doomsday events but for short checks, disability, and other events that can completely change your life overnight and happen daily to millions.

      Hugs!

      • Northern Gal says:

        Thanks Jesse. You are right. There are far more reasons to prep for events such as this than the doomsday scenario. I did put in a large garden with plans to dehydrate, can, and freeze veggies. But that is all I am doing at the moment. My house is not secure, I have only natural gas heat, no wood stove here and I am renting, so can’t change that. I have been separated for ten months and have adjusted somewhat and am at the point to pick myself up and get going again. Once again thanks Jesse.
        NG

  5. patientmomma says:

    Are there any rabbit growers on this blog? One of my Giant Flemish rabbits gave birth 5-days early (I have never had any early deliveries before); kits all perfectly formed but either died right after birth or were still born. Doe has consistently kindled 6-8 kits and all have lived. She is only 2-1/2 years old and bred 4 times a year depending on the weather. Still trying to figure this out.

    • Babycatcher says:

      I used to raise New Zealands. Might there be a nutritional reason for the loss? I have had that happen once, but never found the cause. How hot has it been there? Possible heat stress? That’s all I can think of for now. Sorry for your loss. I would wait one cycle to breed her again. Let her recoup.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      patient, I am not a rabbit grower though I want to start, it would be a solid addition for the homestead.

      Hope you are able to get things rolling again and please share your knowledge, I need it as I have not raised rabbits before. (goats, chickens, sheep, cattle, dogs, cats and even snakes/turtles etc,. but never rabbits)

    • Docj says:

      My first guess is also heat stress. Next time put cage on ground under a large tree with a bottle of frozen water in it. Lucky your lady lived through it. Had a commercial setup and a couple of mine did not make it.

    • Brenda says:

      We have been raising rabbits for about 5 years now. I have 22 under 2 months old right now. 4 does gave birth within 48 hours of each other. Every now and then we will lose an entire litter. Thankfully it does not happen often. We just retired our first doe. We bought one of those really small chicken houses at a yard sale and that is her home. We move it to fresh grass every two days.

  6. Greg M. says:

    Getting almost daily rain here in SE Arizona, its our monsoon. Plants and trees are loving it. Tomatoes going crazy, eating daily fresh tomatoes is a summertime favorite of mine. Heat has gone way down due to the cloudy conditions and rain, that was a relief too. Previously it was getting close to or exceeding 100 degrees almost each day. Yesterday it got to a high of 77, yeah !!! Prayers to those who need them.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Greg, awesome! and yes, raining steadily here as well! already have filled some of the water storage back up and chickens are laying like gangbusters –

      • Greg M. says:

        Jesse, yep, monsoon season is probably the best time of year here. Not too hot, plants grow well, people and critters feel better after all the heat. Have fun while camping, stay dry !!!

  7. Gloria says:

    Just back from the OR this morn where I had my kidney stone blasted and a stent installed. I’ll be slow the next few days but glad that problem is sorted.

    At a local Mennonite store I stocked up on 12 doz regular canning lids and 4 dozen wide mouth lids. Have lots in storage but one can never have enough, especially with prices continually going up and quality continually going down. At another thrift store I got 15 quart mason jars for $5.50. The local grocery store had the 3/4 qt jars and I got a box of 9. They weren’t cheap but I never see them at clearance places. Now to find somewhere to store them all. On a clearance sale, I got 24 bottles of Louisiana hot sauce for 40 cents each- should keep a while in storage.

    A neighbour gave me some frozen pork bones so I made and canned pork broth for storage. Don’t use it that much but it’s nice to have.

    Had to move all my filled compost bins, lay patio slabs where they sit then set the bins back up. Normally I wouldn’t bother with so much work but we had to assess any potential rat problems. They didn’t get through the hardware cloth bases of the bins but they did tunnel below so now everything is clear of tunnels, sprayed with a powerful pine cleaner deterrent and much neater with slab walkways in front. Also found their entries which are now blocked. It’s not a job I’d like to do in 10 years time when I might not have the strength to do it. We also cut and burned a pile of lumber the rats fouled, and cut some firewood we gathered from wind damage over winter. DH bought some solar pest scarers that look like solar lights. We’ll set them in the ground and see how they work

    Couldn’t get my rototiller started so we had hand seed some rows of buckwheat for our bees. All 3 colonies are busy, doing well and needed more supers. ODS told me that the 2 nucs we bought are a special breed that specifically groom for and kill varroa mites.

    Due to the high heat and humidity lately, we had to buy a portable air conditioner unit. DH has heart problems and he wasn’t coping well in the heat despite our usual heat prevention measures. We got it on a 6 month no interest plan and it’ll be paid before then. Now that inside the house is cooler, I’m catching up with loads of odd jobs like canning strawberry syrup and finishing knitting projects.

  8. Labgirl says:

    MD, thanks for keeping this Homesteading and Prep post. Not only do I learn from other posters but it keeps me focused.

    What I have been doing:
    Home preservaton: 30 jars blueberry jelly and 12 jars mock strawberry fig jam.

    Amazon: 6 pack of organic oatmeal boxes; 2 pound bag of bulk pectin,
    Technology: had to bite the bullet and get a new smart phone. I went from an I-phone to an Android phone cause it was less expensive and my son had one that he loves. What a learning curve! Took me days to figure out how to text and call. 🙁

    Bought to replace storage: 2 pair garden gloves, 2 cans tomato soup, 2 boxes canning lids, 1 box of lids and rings, plastic snack bags and gallon bags, 4 pack of mac & cheese, 2 cans chicken, 2 lbs butter, 5 lb bag of WW flour, pack of 6 paper towels, hair and hygiene products.
    I also got 10 self watering pots for over-wintering tropical food plants.

    Garden:
    I successfully rooted 12 dwarf mulberries. My plan is to have a rotating chicken pasture/garden with the mulberries planted at the edge for the chickens.
    I have rooted 8 pots of other things also.
    Finished cleaning out the second green bean bed that the rabbit ate and planted long beans. I had some plastic construction fencing and a little chicken wire and I have hopefully fenced off the rabbits.

    Money; Filed a dispute claim with the bank for the two pending Zaycon orders.

    • Docj says:

      Good for you. Knowing how to root cuttings is another vital prepping skill. Operated a propagation nursery after I retired until I was rear ended at high speed and I was at rest behind a line of traffic. My life changed that day, but I still have the skill. My goal this winter is to root rootstock and do grafts when rootstock is ready. Will be a new skill for me. Must keep learning.

      • Labgirl says:

        Grafting is on my list of skills that I want to learn, also.

        • Jesse Mathewson says:

          Labgirl, grafting is an amazing and fun thing to do. *and I am not a pro just watched it done and did successfully as a youth of 14-15?

  9. GA Red says:

    Looking at tractors twice this week trying to decide what will work best for us and our gardening. Garden is doing well. Peppers, okra, squash and tomatoes are coming in. Zucchini is rare. Carrots didn’t germinate well but should be ready to pull soon. Also getting a few cucumbers and Japanese eggplant. Getting the dehydrator going later today. That’s about it this week. Prayers for all in need.

    • Linda says:

      Ga Red ,

      That’s what happened to my zucchini also. Even my cukes did nothing. The carrots did okay but all the rain we had killed my lettuce and scallions. I read that not having enough pollinators is what causes the problem with the squashes. I am putting up little homes for different kinds of bees and am learning about hand pollinating plants. BTW , you may be near me. I am on the NW side of the big lake in N. Ga.

      • GA Red says:

        Linda – I have about half the zucchini plants as I do squash, but the zucchini is more hit and miss. It’s getting better and I don’t really think it’s a pollinator issue as everything else is doing well. I just have some years that are better than others. My cucumbers are pretty good too, except that I got a late start with them.

        Instead of building homes, I’ve been adding plants to attract them and keeping the hubby from killing the clover. I’m seeing more bees in my garden than years past too, so it seems to be working. I also have a lot of “eco-friendly” preaching neighbors, so that may be helping as well. As someone with a bit of an allergy to bees (it runs in the family too), I am doing well to not be entirely terrified when I see them.

        If you want to compare notes via email, it’s ok by me for MD to share my e-mail addy with you. I know THE big lake up that way, but only pass by it on the way to Blairsville for lunch at the Blairsville Restaurant – best fried chicken!

  10. Goatlover says:

    Good to see the open forum today! DH is doing some clearing work this weekend at our BOL. Hoping to have a structure in place by the end of the year. Another 100 bananas harvested from a single stalk this week. Finished my first quilt and am piecing my second. DH bought me a sewing machine more appropriate for my new passion. Okra is really starting to produce, so I see gumbo in my future. Was given a large box of flannel fabric that I will use to make rag quilts with to be given to local nursing home residents. Get a blessing, be a blessing! My three little goats are really kicking out the milk…thankfully, my new outlet for the extra milk is working out well. I have all the milk I need PLUS I am selling $200 in milk each month. The does are really earning their keep.
    Blessings to all…

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Goatlover, selling and using profits to pay for feed and have a bit over that is a great thing! Currently our chickens equal out for laying versus cost of feed- but it is a good experience for kids as well which is an incalculable value

  11. Thorn says:

    Spending a lot of time gardening. Have a hose connected to the air conditioning run off pipe and running into the garden. Noticed the cucumbers closer to the hose was very wilted. Overnight I put the end of the hose into a bucket. The bucket was full this morning. Yikes, I didn’t know it was putting out that much water.

    Collecting kale seed. Way more than I needed. Didn’t want the extra seed to go to waste. Maybe I can sprout them for fresh greens in the winter. Going to try the same thing with the lettuce seed. Dumped a bunch of powdered milk on my zucchini after way too much rain. They are greening up nicely and starting to put on more baby zucchini’s.

    Japanese Beatles are going after everything. I’m shaking them off into a bucket of soapy water. Anybody have a suggestion for getting rid of them?

    Serious lack of space in the freezer. I’m going to have to take out some of the flour and start eating stuff. I never should have bought the giant bags of broccoli and the meat when it went on sale. Good problem to have.

    • Cndnate says:

      Any recommendations on harvesting the OP kale seed? Do I let the seed pods dry out ?

      Garlic harvested
      Had scare with berries being eaten from plant , but no adverse reactions Observed (tartarus honey suckle – orange berries)

      I think I have killed our raspberries by making the soil too basic (wood ash)

      Found a very nice accurate handloads for my 24 inch 308 with 178 gr eld varget and lc brass. Now it is very clear when I am pooching the shot

    • Anonamo Also says:

      Thorn,
      Dehydrate the broccoli, pack in glass jars, put in oxy absorber. space issue solved.. I take the stalks , cut tehm lengthwie and chop to dehydrate, and then porcess those and make powdert o add to soups and stews, and this works for celery as well. If you do not have a dehydrator one of the cheap ones will work for this..
      Pack flour and other dry goods in half gallon/or gallon jars/jugs. put in oxy absorber… or alternately dry can….and as you lid them put in oxygen absorbers. 10 lbs =approx one gallon..
      meat is a serious canning project. If you have never canned meat and have a canner it is easy to do.. just dice, pack clean jars per canning ( ball) book- avail on line) cold raw pack – do not add water (unless a tablespoon to add to moisten seasonings)…., wipe lids. and rims down well . put on warm lids pu in canner bring up to temp slowly… jars should have water at least 1/3 way up on outside of jars. Pints process for 75 min, quarts 90 min. pressure for low altitudes is 10#, if high altitude it has to be adjusted up… when time is up turn off canner and let canner cool without disturbing it. when fully cool then open and jars should still be hot and meat boiling inside. all that are boiling will be sealed or will shortly.as they cool. ones not boiling inside probably will not seal or remain sealed. must be used within 2 weeks – store in refrig til use/ or put in another jar/new ring lid and try again with next batch.

      • Thorn says:

        Good ideas. I will try dry canning the flour. I have canned meat before so I need to think about that again. Some foods I’m ok with drying but a lot of them I don’t know how to prepare after the have been dried.

        • Anonamo Also says:

          One way to learn is go to a site that has dehydrated veggies, and check to see their prep instructions.. some things like zucchini, are great served as chips with dip… they are really sweet. almost evrything you can add warm water to cover and cover… wait 30 min to one hour, and check for tenderness/rehydration, use as fresh after draining excess liquid. every veggie is slightly different… once you figure out corn or okra or what ever you know for the next time. things you are adding to soups.. just put in at start of cook time and allow to simmer a little while…Thats what i did to the okra i added to jambalaya mix… added 20 min cook time to okra before i put mix in with meat.

          • GA Red says:

            I read directions from three different books before dehydrating squash and okra this weekend. The okra came out so well that one daughter asked if she could take it home. The squash is ok, but not as crispy as I’d like. It’s in the fridge for now. I’ll eat it but not like I’d wanted – as chips.

    • Babycatcher says:

      I just walk around with a jar of soapy water that has a little oil in it. I’ve killed hundreds that way. I don’t get them all, but this year I have had very little damage.

  12. Red C says:

    Our area had a power outage this week. It started mid-morning on a weekday, & ended mid-afternoon. The responses were educational. Almost all retail & other businesses closed quickly – no computers, no cash registers, no credit card machines. Walmart also closed. The hospital, nursing homes & courthouse had backup generators that kicked in. My workplace is about a half hour away & was not affected. Some people went to a neighboring county for restaurants & stores with a/c. This power outage was for less than 6 hours. Imagine if it had lasted a week or 2. Or if people were not able to travel to a neighboring county to escape the Southern heat. It’s not hard to imagine people getting desperate after a couple days. We’ll see if this motivates more people to begin prepping. Is this a taste of life without electricity? It was certainly a test.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Red C ., smart! And agreed most people couldn’t live without their take out and store access

      • Jack says:

        Jesse, “agreed most people couldn’t live without their take out and store access. Copy that man. Those who live the EX-pat life often take on a different perspective over time. Here in the Philippines, my “plastic money” only works in large malls, one local supermarket which is part of a chain and a very few restaurants. With this few exceptions, this is a cash-based society. I was out walking around after a big thunderstorm took out several transformers. The outage lasted all day and part of the night until 2:30 AM. It was interesting to see SARI-SARI stores (like a mini-convenience store) doing business as usual. The woodcarver who does beatify furniture work was working under his shed roof as he always does and never knew to power was out. Sunshine is free. Not a great idea to become too dependent on everything modern.

    • Prepared Grammy says:

      We had outages here a couple of weeks ago, and people went crazy. The whole-home generator store said they’ve been super busy since then.

    • Thor1 says:

      RC, life without AC in the south would be horrible. With a solar generator at least I could run a small fan. This is a good reason to have a backup power supply. Just like having a firearm, if you can’t protect it, its not yours.

  13. Anonamo Also says:

    We had a chicken in a isolation coop. ..an Invader arrived and took her out to supper… left sign….invader returned next night/tried to dig under completely enclosed wired cage… Third night no sign of his coming 4th night he decided he wanted a can a can of sardines took the can out of its location and went back for the scent…. He is our newest pet , after an ice bath and sauna with apples will try him in a bit…. Harvest of 2 meat chickens this week….
    Garden beginning to give a harvest, few okra..coming in, few peppers..tomatoes are putting on, have several size of half dollar.., . Hornworms arrived , found two this morning and chickens love the things, they made quite a spectacle. chasing the one hen who got it.. aphids have also arrived… soapy water and DE are in progress..
    . Sweet potatoes are growing gang busters…planted total of 28…almost have 4×12+ bed covered.( deep bed with 22 inch wall around to protect fro hippity hopp critters..)… including onions and area where the beets and turnips were…. LOL. few volunteer cuccumbers on trellis and climbing, putting on lots of blooms, some kind of bee was pollinating…loaded with small cucumbers.. Having to water at least every other day due to soil composition in raised beds… got everything taken care of now it is thundering.. wow, what timing. l…

    • Mustang says:

      Very funny…sauna with apples! Can hardly wait to move out to the country and have a real homestead along with all the daily chores that make life much more rewarding.

      • Anonamo Also says:

        Apples remove the wild taste from coon.. also put beef stew seasoning on him.. turned out tasty.. You dip the apples out when first open the electric sauna (instapot). and throw them as far as you can. takes a bout 2 per critter.. BBQ ‘d

  14. MaineBrain says:

    Ordered and received a couple of Rick Austin’s books (Secret Garden, Secret Greenhouse). Added a few pantry supplies to the stash. Need to crank up the dehydrator tomorrow to deal with excess from our farm share. Decided not to plant much this year, I like to support our local organic farmer and we honestly can’t use fresh all the stuff we receive even with a mini farm share. Keep on keepin’ on, all.

  15. Brenda says:

    Cucumbers and peppers have done very well. DH bought 18 pepper plants this spring and all of them are really producing. Tomatoes are not doing well at all. Only 2 have ripened. Lots of green ones though. Planning to make chow chow. I kept the garden small this year. Due to health issues we didn’t have a garden at all last year and the year before.

    Blackberries and grapes are doing very well. I love the thornless berries! Plan to add more. Bought 2 Stuart pecan trees that are still in their buckets. It has either been too hot or pouring down rain to do much.

  16. Jack says:

    **GREAT NEWS FROM THE PHILIPPINES**
    All, late this past week, we received a text from the Ecumenical school our mini-people attend. The school asked parents and students to prepare emergency bags to be kept in the storage closet in each classroom. The list was very basic. A change of clothes, a canned good etc, etc but it is a start in the correct direction. It appears that DepEd (Department of Education here in the Phils) has gotten onto the bandwagon with some basic preps. The text came in Thursday PM after the kids returned from school. The school offered a 20 point bonus if the child returned Friday AM with the complete list. We know few parents could get this done by the deadline but our gang saw the value in the family storeroom as Mom pulled out everything that was required in just a few minutes. Now, my guys have their 72-hour bags we built weeks ago in case they must hunker down at school. We are still adding and improving the contents. I was thrilled to see emergency preparation taken seriously by the Phil government and the school system. This was the very first year anything like this was suggested.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Jack, I have heard they are also looking at launching a sponsored crypto currency program… and a few other interesting yet beneficial ideas

  17. suzy q says:

    Got cherries and strawberries dehydrated with a lot of different things that need to be done in the next couple of days.
    Had 2 teeth pulled on Wednesday by the oral surgeon which I believe counts as a prep because they were pulled before they became a problem. was a light week but next week should pick up.

    • Terra says:

      suzy q,
      How do you dehydrate your strawberries? I’ve been wanting to try that.

      • suzy q says:

        I just bulked them, sliced thin and put in the dehydrator waited a day or so and put them in jars. I really don’t care for strawberries but these are fair entries and then I will give the rest away.

    • Sarah Querry says:

      My strawberries and my blackBerries never make it into my house ! I am like a little kid eating them right off the vine ! As I said I thoughd only came from the store ! I am getting to like this I wish I started 40 years ago growing veggies it so much better ! 😎 again thank everyone I have learn so much !

  18. ron law says:

    world governments are keeping a BIG SECRET about the return of planet x & the return of the annunaki, there’s 1000s of videos on youtube trying to warn the world. the world governments are on the annunaki side yo make you better slaves! pleease investigate & share or go to FEMA CAMPS to get thr MARK of the BEAST or your last meal!

    ronald freeland law on ywitter

    • john doe says:

      that dude RONALD FREELAND LAW is right WAKE IP WORLD!

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Do people really belbelibelbelivbelieve this nonsense?

      • john doe says:

        search dan rather in front of the pentagon on 9/11/2001 & why was NORAD told to stand down 9/11/2001 you might learn the truth about the ELITE ILLUMINATI CONTROLLED GOVERNMENT!🤣

  19. Bebe says:

    Thanks for the return of this newsletter.. It’s like sitting down to a Sunday meal and all the family is telling all that went on that week.! I feel like we are all brothers caring about eeach other. Thanks you M>D>

  20. mom of three says:

    Enjoying the warm weather, it’s in the upper 80’s. All plants are growing up so fast and the grass is slowly down nice to be in reverse. We found a new farm, that grows everything we met the guy yesterday on a service call for a neighbor who was having electral problems. Hubby called PSE emergency line. You never know who, what or when you might meet a new friend… I’m going to get a refresher course on medical, it’s been way too long hubby, was stung by a wasp, and boy we both just looked at each other and said crap, we are so out of it. We did get it taken care of but man without internet, we we’re fumbling in the dark, not good. I have almost 2 gallons of raspberries, in the freezer, just a few more pickings and they are done. I can’t wait for my potatoes, to see what yeild I got this year will be better then last for sure. I’m going to pick and wrap up some loose lettuce, to share with my parents, boy it’s growing like a weed, I can’t keep up with it. We’ll, on to this farm, to check out their yummys.

    • mom of three,

      Been in the 90’s here… but supposed to rain soon so maybe that will help to cool it down for a few hours…

    • Anonamo Also says:

      P!Laintain, or chewing tobacco wet and applied to stings helps most people as long as not anaphylactic reaction…

      • mom of three says:

        Thank you we have plenty of plaintain, around here thanks…

        • Anonamo Also says:

          Make the triple brewed tincture with PGA, does not take as much ..is avail all year long and works fast… just keep applying it. over a few min.. pain does not return to sting., takes most of the itch really soon too.. stings, poison oak, ivy/ other skin reactions to plants/critter… even helps ant bites to an extent…

  21. Well, one good thing about the comments section and this segment now is that we don’t have the one or two commenters that swamped the blog with 75-100 comments each and causing me to get a number of emails from other commenters complaining and wanting me to do something because the same one or two serial commenters felt that they had to comment on everyone else’s comments that were posted despite the fact those comments were not addressed to them.

    The 10 or so folks that left this site because I took a couple weeks off from this column got their little pink panties in a bunch when I banned them from commenting here. However, getting banned was their own fault because they were coming here to my blog and trying to get folks to leave here and go to another site and then posting a bunch of crap about me and this site over on the other site and then they still think that they would be welcomed here… nope… it doesn’t work that way.

    I don’t care one little bit for folks that read this blog to read other sites and or comment on those sites – however, going to another site and dissing this site, the other readers here, and myself and then coming back to this site and posting comments asking folks to leave and come to some other site is disgusting!

    • Mustang says:

      MD,

      There will always be those few disruptive half-wits out there complaining for the sake of complaining or just wanting to create problems for others. We have a few on the ham radio frequencies that do their darnedest to interfere, but usually just get more frustrated when we blow them off. Someday maybe I’ll take a long hike with a trusty set of “Bobbit” cable cutters and visit said agitators!

    • Izzy says:

      M.D. With all do respect, you didn’t phrase it quite like ” I took a couple weeks off from this column”. It came across as a permanent thing. Which is why, IMO, most people were upset. It felt like losing a home.

      As for the other site, don’t look for ANY posts by me bashing you, I tried just to make a post (not about you) and it went to moderation…twice. However, after my gut instinct kicked in, I decided to not go there. I decided to wait and see here. Some how a blog owner not in America isn’t going to have much in common with Americans as far as politics, terrain, society, etc., etc.

      • Izzy,

        Nothing wrong with going to another site if that’s what some folks wanted to do that’s their right, however, getting so upset that they go on another site and attack this one, and then even worse come to this site and try to post comments to get other people to leave this site just shows their true character.

  22. Mustang says:

    Still working on the physical fitness preps. Have been steadily increasing my average speed and extending the distance. Just need to figure out how to make some long distance rides.. Can’t leave the wife alone for more than a short day and home care costs are getting ridiculous, especially for overnight care.

    I hope to get to the farmers market this Wednesday and bid on some fresh sweet corn, cucumbers, and tomatoes.. I’d like to put away sufficient quantities of canned goods to see us through the next year at least. I wish I could can eggplant since it’s coming so fast and in quantity. I give baskets of eggplant away each week.

    Clearing the freezer is a top priority. It’s been stocked with just about everything you can vacuum seal and freeze. but with the hurricane season approaching fast I don’t want to take the chance of losing everything. It’s been a while since the last good storm came through the Virginia Beach area, but we lost power or eight days when it did. I suspect we’re due for another good storm.

    Lots of bad news on a daily basis. One has to wonder what the next six months will bring….elections, riots, etc. Working on staying prepared, but still maintain a realistic level of optimism. Stay safe!

    • Thor1 says:

      Mustang, sounds like you need some type of solar and small or medium gas generator. Why take the chance of losing food that is stored. Look at Pureto Rico, still no power to a lot of people.

      • Mustang says:

        Have a 5500 Watt gas generator, but plan to use primarily for a few lights and AC. The wife’s medical condition required her to have a cool environment so if the power goes out I need to focus on keeping at least one room cool.

    • Almost There says:

      Mustang,

      For your eggplant, I’m on a FB group called “Rebel Canners”. Not sure if there is a post about canning eggplant, but they can EVERYTHING. You can ask the question once you join the group. I case you’re interested.

    • Shirlgirl says:

      Mustang, This website gives good directions to dehydrate eggplant….
      https://dehydratorblog.com/dehydrate-eggplant/

    • Anonamo Also says:

      Mustang, You can CAN Eggplant.. so a search there are several recipes telling how to secure fo later use….I don’t eat/nightshade sensitive ..and I already eat a few tomoates and peppers.. .so I can’t recommend one…sure would slice/dice /soak before canning i am sure…

    • Anonamo Also says:

      Mustang,
      If you are the member of a church group, sometimes some of the older ladies will sit with others to give a break to care givers. Sometimes letting a church group you already trust,know will let you get the break you need. If it is not really hard on anyone, will give you a welcome break for training and still do it with an easy mind.in re: to your wifes care.
      If you can get a schedule….sometimes they will split between several people and it not be hard on anyone…

  23. Fixit says:

    Getting rain . It had been a while since last good rain and keep your powder dry really shouldn’t apply to the soil. Not much here this week just piling and dying.

  24. ShirlGirl says:

    I am so grateful you are back, MD. Sometimes taking time out helps the rest of us realize what we miss each week. I am also glad to see more comments on what each of us did to live a homesteading life each week and what next steps we took to prepare to maintain our independence from drug and grocery stores.
    For me, this past week was about preparing for my Dad’s memorial service Saturday. He was honored well by almost 30 of us crammed into their small town home.
    So my biggest preps were leaving Tucson loaded with canned goods, 2 metal storage cabinets and metal shelving unit for our stash room. Now that we are home, it’s out to the garden to see how many green chili’s are big enough to pick and how many tomatoes are red. Have a ton of table grapes this year. I’ll see how many are ripe. I need ideas on what to do with them. No one wants to drink pale green grape juice and I don’t have time to make wine. Well, i certainly have a lot of catching up to do. 2 jnches of rainwater in a bucket. Yay. Time to start collecting!
    Welcome back, MD.

    • ShirlGirl,

      Thank you.

    • Anonamo Also says:

      Shirlgirl, So Sorry for your loss.. take care of yourself. write down the memories, if you do not write/share them they will soon be gone.
      I found a long note by my Mom a couple of weeks ago… it was entitled “.I Remember” Mom talked about them moving around as a sharecroppers daughter, from one situation to the next and the houses they lived in, Her Uncles and what prompted some of the moves. Something she had not told me, but had written down in long hand..

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Shirlgirl, sorry for your loss – wish we had chance to meet up while you were in this area! !

      • ShirlGirl says:

        I sent you an email, Jesse about that very thing. I figured you were out of town or too busy working on another review. Maybe next time.

  25. Thor1 says:

    Just so everyone knows, Thor does not have pink panties…….LOL

  26. Sarah Querry says:

    Here in Seattle, Wa. We are know for are rain “BUT” it has not rain in 2 weeks it’s so bad the moss is starting to die it is all from “ Global warming “ 😆 now I have to water my veggie garden my self !

    • mom of three says:

      It’s been very dry up the the Canadian Boarder, is where I live and I love watching the moss die, I will be scraping the nubs off my storage shed, very soon. Our poor kitty, loves the tile floor thats where she sleeps during the day.

  27. Gray Wolf says:

    I have been lurking for a while. I have spent time living off the land and time developing the land. I am a veteran. I have been homeless. Today I have a five acre farm in the panhandle. I am married with two teenage girls. I am looking for ways to protect my family. I know a lot but I still have a lot to learn.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Gray wolf, protection is my most valuable contribution to our family unit. And I do have over a decade of experience in real combatives/combat related firearms and other protective tool training/teaching hands on experience. Be sure to check out http://www.tnconcealedcarry.com for my articles specifically regarding this!

      Also email any time [email protected]

  28. RoufusD says:

    I, too, am a long time lurker. I love reading what everyone is doing to prepare for whatever is coming down the pike. My philosophy is to be ready for whatever happens, because you just never know. We live in Texas within sight of a major metro area, and when someone moves in to our neighborhood, we say– “Welcome! Now go buy a generator”– because we always lose power. It’s a disgrace.
    Preps this week– The War of the Hornworms has commenced, and my tomatoes looks puny. I’ve been rooting the suckers so maybe I’ll get something from them later on. Lamb’s quarters are doing great; squash not so much. It’s just too hot and dry for them. Wild lettuce just started blooming; when they go to seed, I’ll collect them up and take some down to the land, keeping the others here for next year.
    My goal this autumn is to learn how to can. I wanted to last year but a dislocated shoulder got in the way. It’s been a slow recovery but it’s getting there. I’ve been dehydrating things, and slowly building our pantry and stock. I started prepping back in the y2k days, and still find some of our stores from then squirreled away. The white rice is still good…

  29. Charlyne Tyree says:

    So glad to have this site again. Thank you MD. I don’t comment often but, do learn so very much here. Appreciate everyone’s input.

  30. Billy T says:

    Haven’t been on much lately.Garden is all in and doing well. So far harvesting only asparagus and zucchini.. I had installed our solar power system as a “12V” system, as it was intended principally to provide power for my oxygen concentrator. Now, after the lung transplant, I’ve decided to upgrade it to make the system more robust. Converting to 24V system. Received the components. Installed the batteries yesterday and should have the changeover done within the next week.. It will be enough to power refrigerator and freezer for a limited time each day.
    It has been so dry here the deer have been suffering. One doe has decided our orchard is her dinner table. Apple and plum trees seem to be her favorites. I’m sure she is unaware I consider venison delicious!
    I’m using the hills and 6000+ elevation to work against and improve my physical condition.

    • Izzy says:

      Billy T; Please be careful at that 6,000 elevation. Do you have an oximeter to monitor your oxygen? Continued prayers for you.

  31. Izzy says:

    Why are ALL my posts going to moderation? Sheesh….I even put deodorant on.

  32. Izzy says:

    What a cute story. Gotta have a few feel good stories once in awhile.

    https://www.star-telegram.com/news/state/texas/article215223135.html

  33. Izzy says:

    Mr. C.; Do we use this thread to post our weeks prepping?

    • Sarah Querry says:

      Afternoon from a dry Seattle ,WA. ! Did not do much prepping this week had to tak my cat Napoleon To the vet for his shots and a checkup ! That set me back 100.00$ ! I did get in the mail a case to put my 2way radios in! And some Mountainhome beef stew ! And did get my injector screw for my Enfield mark four in a 45 ACP ! (My son made it for me) Oh yes made a crock-pot stew using my veggies out of my yard “WOW” it was so good Even my son that is my caregiver went back for more As I said I am so learning about living off the land I have to say it hard for me at 74 Thanks everyone I have learn a bunch